Reportdead birds, WDFW urges

Published on Thu, Oct 18, 2007
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Report dead birds, WDFW urges

The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) encourages individuals who find dead wild birds to report the incident by calling a toll-free hotline.

Kristin Mansfield, a WDFW veterinarian said because wild birds are known to carry various strains of avian influenza, officials continue to test for the highly pathogenic forms of the disease. However, one strain, known as Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza H5N1, has sickened and killed birds in Asia, Europe and Africa.

None of the 4,000 birds tested in Washington have been found to carry that strain, she said.

Most dead bird reports can be submitted by calling WDFW’s toll-free line at 800/606-8768. The exceptions are crows, ravens, magpies and jays, which should be reported to local health departments that are tracking those birds for West Nile virus.

As a safety precaution for protection from various diseases , people should not handle dead wild birds with bare hands. Those who choose to bury or dispose of dead birds are advised to wear rubber gloves or use a long-handled shovel, and to clean hands and tools with soap and water.